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complaints against the venders of strong drinks would disappear. From innumerable pulpits and secular fora everything has been done to reach the consciences and the judgments of men for a quarter of a century, which has been answered by the scorn and contempt of venders of strong drinks and those they have corrupted. Parents, widows, orphans, wives, mothers and children, have implored them not to fasten on them the extreme and hopeless wretchedness of shame, misery, want and crime, and their woes have been met by derision. The legislature has enacted stringent and wholesome laws for the protection of the public, which are altogether disregarded by public officers and venders of liquors for their own private benefit, at an enormous experse to the public. Establishments without licenses are prohibited from selling intoxicating liquors, and yet there are thousands of these pandora boxes in the state, from which are issuing the diseases, crimes and distresses of society. Are we men, I will not say freemen-Americans,--for we are actually in bondage to alcohol sellers and drinkers,—but are we men, and submit to the domination of a class of men who recognize no reason opposed to sensual gratification ; no ties or impulses opposed to self interest; and no legal obligations opposed to their wills? I appeal, therefore, to the only power that can tame them—the bench and the bar can make them gentle and obedient by a very little effort, particularly if citizens do their duties in villages and towns.
Let me not be understood as desiring to supersede the advocacy of temperance on persuasive principles. Would that all men were so conscientious and intelligent as to be reached by facts and arguments, when laws, coercion, could be safely abolished; but so long as many men are governed by prejudice, pride, passion, selfishness and consciences, more frequently less than equal to their meagre intelligences, coercion must be applied to cases reason cannot reach. If this latter class of men are not a majority of our citizens, they are the noisy, reckless, bullying minority, who constantly attempt to evercrow peaceable men, and force silence through fear of unpopularity, and, sometimes, of violence to property or person,
How many thousands at this blessed hour
Are looking forth upon the lingering, west,
And 'lis a thought that makes me truly blest-
Impart a common joy, a common zest.
Shining in glory of the sunset ray;
With clustered speedwell all the path is gay:
Wherever liberty is known, the name of Algernon Sydney is a household word. Undoubtedly, greater men may have played greater parts, but few have lived more purely than he : and even had his intellect been contracted, his mission would have been accomplished. He would have taught the world what it is to die for a principle; and what to our mind is far more hard, and consequently a higher glory, he lived for one. But Sydney was a man of rare mental endowments—a ripe scholar-a deep thinker--a writer-a practical statesman. It is from the contemplation of the lives of men like this that the world grows wiser and better. The vulgar notion that interest is predominant, and that every feeling is lulled lo repose when pelf is the narcotic, is seen to be a delusion. This earth is not the scene of universal selfishness. Daily, though unseen, there are millions of acts of fortitude, generous abandonments of self-healthy, bold and good deeds, to prove mankind, if not positively saints, at least are not a herd of callous, hard-hearted swindlers—and no little of this is owing to the lives of the good men who have gone before us—" the salt of the earth.” For the virtues of the great man, when he has descended to the grave, leaves behind him a trace of bright light to shine upon and guide his fellows for ever.
Independently of the contemplation of such a character, for itselfthere are events connected with the career of Algernon Sydney which add an interest to his life. He lived in stirring times—and contributed his quota to impress the events of his day. Born in 1622, under the 1st James, then alternately promising concessions, and declaring the king's prerogative should be uninjured, -Sydney vindicated his claim to patriotism on Marston Moor, and lived through the Protectorate to die on the scaffold, under that cold blooded, clever debauchee, the second Charles. But although his name appears in every history, and linked with accusations, which we shall treat upon hereafter, and which, let us add, parenthetically, may lead those who have taken them on trust to think that our opening sentences are not warranted by facts—in spite of these charges, too, being debatable points, little in the shape of biography of Sydney has appeared ; and it has remained for the United States to supply this blank with a work of uncommon merit, written in a style modest and correct, and as far removed from the flash tinsel, which some crack essay. ists of the day see fit to use, as the correctness of the historical facts is distant from the mode of the said crack essayists in writing history, not as it is, but as they wish it to be.
Nothing original on this subject has ever been published in our recollection on this side of the Atlantic; and even in England only a slight sketch accompanying Stephanoff's well-known painting, (which we know only by the engraving,) by Richard Chase Sydney, came forth at the time of the production of the picture. Previous to this, Mr. Meadley published a work in 1813, and generally this fertile field for the biographer has been left to strange and unaccountable neglect, excepting incidental mention of his name in histories of that period.
We have already made some notice of the work of Mr. Van Santvoord, * Life of Algernon Sydney, with Sketches of some of his Contemporaries, and extracts from his Correspondence and Political Writings. By G. VAN SANTVUORD. Charles Scribner, New York.
and now purpose availing ourselves of his labors, and so presenting a sketch of the portrait :
Algernon Sydney was the grand-nephew of Sir Philip Sydney, the author of the old romance of Arcadia, which would be forgotten except for the greatness
and virtues of its author-one of the rare instances of men perpetuating their works in opposition to the general law. And in order to show the stock from which Algernon sprang, it is well to mention that when Elizabeth, in her forty-sixth year, entertained a disgraceful inclination” to receive the proposals of the young Duke of Anjou, Sir Philip, with more feeling than policy, and with an honest disinterestedness, addressed her a remonstrance against the match, which the lion-hearted Elizabeth never resented. His brother was created Earl of Leicester by James 1st, and it was the son of the last earl from whom the subject of this sketch sprang. Algernon was the second son.
When he was ten years of age, he went with his father to Denmark, at which court the latter had been appointed an ambassador. In a few months he returned again to England, but in 1636, his father being appointed ambassador to France, he accompanied the earl thither. He remained several years abroad, until his nineteenth year, and traveled over Europe, acquiring most of the European languages. Indeed, his education appears to have been conducted with great care, and to have been personally superintended by his father. Such care on such a soil was not lost-knowledge of books and men, even in one so young, worked their effect, and his name traveled out of the circle in which he was moving. The army was then the field to which the patrician youth naturally turned, and the Earl of Leicester endeavored to obtain a commission for his second son in the Dutch service. The application failed, and Algernon accordingly returned with his father to England, in 1641.
Even at this day there is no part of the common history of the United States and England wltich has more interest than the memorable struggle between the Long Parliament and Charles the First. There are few wellinformed students of English history," says a great writer,* speaking of that Parliament,—who, with fearless and frank admissions of the errors of this illustrious assembly, do not pause with emotion at the mention of its name.” And if we, two centuries after the actors were on the scene, yet have the heart touched with the narration of these struggles, partaking even too often of the passions and the prejudices of the times, how great must have been the emotions of a generous, ardent youth, entering on the stage, hearing the bold eloquence of the Parliament, and the loud complaints of the people, and feeling, too, the grievances under which England groaned !
It was evident new guarantees for the liberty of the subject were called for. Those who had clung to the belief that the faults of Charles' goverriment had sprung from evil counsels, now felt that the king had but one desire—to reign absolutely. The old laws of the realm stood in no way in his path. Parliament he feared, and hated even as obstructions. Clarendon even says: “those foundations of right by which men valued their security, were never, to the apprehension and understanding of wise men, in more danger of being destroyed." Monopolies and exactions were the order of the day. Indeed, with courtiers and privy counsellors, f
* Foster. The Statesmen of the Commonwealth of England. A book, were liberty banished from the world, in which sufficient elements exist for its recuperation.
+ May. Hist. Parliament.
the liberty of the subject was a jest. The very term would raise a laugh -as hearty as the refined exquisites of Whitehall would indulge in.
But the turn of the tide came: the entire Scottish people were the first to rise. The mass, to them, would have been as palatable as the liturgy, which Laud would have forced upon them. The English government, vacillating, and unprepared, could adopt no settled plan of action without money-without courage to meet a Parliament—without the boldness to make further exactions from the people—they hesitated between force and submission. There were, indeed, the Catholic gentry, who, on the strong appeal of the Qucen, came forth with contributions, but the sum thus raised in conjunction with the other means of revenue, was quite insufficient. But a further project existed, which, had it been carried into effect, might have changed the color of the events which followed—a project worthy of the Stuart dynasty, viz. : by the aid of Spain, to raise 10,000 troops in Flanders, and to obtain a loan from that power. But the Spaniard recollected the bad faith which Charles had shown, and declined the offer with cold contempt.
The disgraceful treaty of Berwick followed, the natural result of such a state of things—and affairs became more complicated in England. In Ireland, it is true, Strafford's iron rule had destroyed every sign of opposition. All was compliance—submission, and devotion. The volcano was silent, but the fires did not smoulder the less deeply. Wentworth had come from Ireland and counselled a Parliament—not a Parliament in which Englishmen had met of old, and spoken boldly for their rights -not one to legislate and control—but a mere meeting to grant subsidies, and to carry up loyal addresses. Indeed, it was a critical time. Scotland was again in the field—and the ship-money and loans of England were collected daily with more difficulty.
The Parliament of 1640 met, only to be dissolved. No error was more grievous than the hasty conduct of Charles in this particular--and it was the turning point with the King's popularity. Those who led public affairs felt that the hopes they had entertained for eleven years, were now to lead to action. Pym and Hampden, and others, had frequent meetings with the Scotch Commissioners in London. The King was powerless--for his exchequer was exhausted; and in spite of his hatred of the very word—a Parliament was to be summoned. To this strait he was forced. Strafford, owing to the mutinous spirit of the English forces, had retreated before the Scotch from Durham, and fell back upon York, after the affair at Newbourne. At York, the King called a council of Peers—but this body only met to receive petition upon petition for a Parliament. Reluctantly was Charles driven to issue writs—and on the 3d of November, the memorable Long Parliament met.
On the 11th of November, Pym rose in his place, and moved the impeachment of Strafford. Previous to addressing the House, he ordered the doors to be locked. For four hours was the debate thus conducted; the unxiety of the loiterers outside was intense ; but the doors opened, and Pjm, at the head of 300 members, proceeded to the House of Lords, and there impeached the Earl of Strafford. He died on the scaffold. Of this man, great in his intellect—in his energies—in his courage—we can here only quote the words of Hallam, for it is not our province to write of him-although it is tempting to do so--for there is a bright side to the picture :-" It may be reckoned a sufficient ground for distrusting any
one's attachment to the English Constitution, that he reveres the name of the Earl of Strafford.”
We have mentioned these preliminary facts, in order to give some idea of the emotions which checkered Sydney's youth. The characters of men are colored by the events which happen around them. The strongest mind is affected by associations—and there is no schooling like that of great incidents. But a few words must be devoted to another considera tion. Sydney all his life was inimical to the Church of England. Indeed, he was opposed to every phase of Church government. Nor is this to be wondered at. Laud had changed the hearts of the half of England. Abbot, his predecessor, a man of mild rule—with feelings of a somewhat bigoted character against Popery, and a strong bearing towards Calvinism, allowed things to take their course, without urging on those clergy. men, whose Puritanism led them to object to some ceremonies of the ritual. But Laud wanted conformity-and not simply that which the founders of the Church of England desired, but with sundry Popish innovations to make them doubly objectionable. Even the sports of the people were to be controlled, and certain pastimes were named for them to indulge in after evening service. The appearance of the Church was altered. Pictures and crucifixes were set up—the communion table was called an altar-low obeisances were made to it. The capes of the clergy were embroidered. The eucharist became, as now, the great question of belief. The doctrine of the real presence being received-celibacy of the priests was inculcated, and the mild, evangelical, and philosophical tenets of the Church of England, as they appeared at the Reformation, became changed into a sort of semi-Popery—to which persecution was allied, to give the crowning stamp.
The custom had been since the Reformation to recognize the Dutch and Huguenot Churches as affiliated branches of the English Church. But Laud denied the affinity; and even the foreign churches in London were visited by this pestilent ecclesiastic for want of conformity. That Laud's subsequent execution by the Parliament was a crime, none can deny. But it is regretted generally, only as an act of injustice by an assembly to whom the world owes so much for the advancement of lib. erty. Indeed, no Protestant, in spite of the gray hairs of Laud, can extend him sympathy. He would have made England a land of bigots and of slaves—to be ruled by priests, whose doctrines would have been enforced by the pillory and the scourge, instead of holding as a guide the precepts of Jesus Christ.
Nor was Sydney's father exempt from some little persecution. The English ambassador had hitherto attended the Huguenot chapel at Charenton, But Lord Scudamore, the predecessor of Leicester, had declined doing so; and in order to propitiate Laud, had opened a chapel of his own, got up” with due effect as to altars and pictures—with the various et ceteras. When the Earl of Leicester was about to proceed on his mission, he had a conversation with the prelate, and asked his advice as to his course of proceeding. Laud would not give it; but plainly intimated that he preferred the course Lord Scudamore had taken. The earl thought otherwise : and he had many reasons to think " that for his going to Charenton, the Archbishop did him all the ill offices he could to the king.” These facts could not but be known to his son, and tended no